VP Global Franchise Development, Arif, discusses Nurse Next Door’s Franchise Times’ Home Care Business Dealmaker Award!
Two years ago, would I have considered Nurse Next Door the underdog in the home care industry? Absolutely. We had spent years building a dominant brand in Canada but I felt like we were a bit late to the party in the US. While we had a compelling story and recognized a market opportunity, we were playing catch up with entrenched players hundreds of units ahead of us. As Cathy Thorpe, myself and the rest of our leadership team began developing our strategy to compete and outperform these providers, we knew we had our work cut out for us. What we quickly realized, though, was that if we just competed in the same way as everyone else, we’d always be playing catch up. We needed to implement a strategy to make some quantum leaps if we stood a chance to rise up to some of our rivals.
When Nurse Next Door does something, we believe in going big or going home. Through a unique model, we created a new channel for large health systems to enter the private duty home care space without having to start their own business from scratch, or take on expensive acquisitions. The model was launched in July 2015 when we announced a partnership with St. Joseph Health (a $6 billion California based health system). St. Joseph Health purchased an initial 26 Nurse Next Door franchise locations across Southern California and recently purchased an additional 13 franchise locations in the LA county region. It was the first time a major health system became a franchisee of a private duty home care franchisor. It was unique. It was bold. It was exactly what we needed.
Now, it didn’t come easy. The conversation started off in a typical place —– was Nurse Next Door interested in being acquired? Of course the answer was no; however, we realized St. Joseph Health was looking to solve a problem, and unlock an opportunity many others are targeting today and we could help them do just that. Fortunately, we had a group of leaders on the other side of these discussions with similar desires and an appetite for creative solutions.
Our hard work paid off. The deal was signed and we’ve been rapidly building out our southern California market ever since. (Of course putting a deal like this together is only the start to the hard work. The story behind operationalizing this strategy is probably another post altogether.)
While recognition isn’t why we set out to do what we did, it is nice that the industry is taking notice. Earlier this week, I had the honor of attending the Franchise Times Dealmakers Awards Gala recognizing franchising’s most bold and disruptive deals of the year. Cathy and I sat among other winners ranging from Michael Haith of Teriyaki Madness to Jimmy John Liautaud of Jimmy John’s fame who was recognized for a $2b+ transaction (yes that’s a b). It was humbling to be recognized alongside folks such as these but it was also an incredibly proud moment. We earned it. We’d worked hard, identified a market opportunity, capitalized on it and were being recognized for it.
What I’m probably most excited about, though, is the possibility that exists for Nurse Next Door as we continue to push our business forward. We have a mature and premium brand in Canada, we’ve built a network of exceptional and rapidly growing franchise partners in the US and now unlocked a unique strategic model that we’re first to market with. There is still an incredible amount of work ahead of us but it’s nice to pause and celebrate.
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